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    dkirschner's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (PC)

    [November 24, 2010 08:39:56 AM]
    So, the Shattering happened in WoW the other day. I just logged on. Oh my. The world is different. Azeroth that has been Azeroth for 6 years is revamped. I see so many, uncountable really, changes. There are flight paths everywhere, Stormwind's towers are destroyed, the auction house moved closer to the bank, bigger bank, carpets in the bank, new bricks in the city, or new lighting effects that make them look new, a Hero's call board (whatever that is), guards flying over the city on gryphons, the canals flooded parts of the city, the daily fishing quest that is now in SW instead of Dalaran awards +fishing skill, there are new NPCs in various places, new banners outside the districts, the Park has been utterly destroyed and is now a ruin of burning ember and water flowing off a cliff from the canals, there's a new construction area where shipbuilders are working in the Docks, a giant barred mystery gate in the Docks, all kinds of other laborers working on what look like siege weapons, a big lake in the city, a massive cemetery, including the grave of the queen, an outdoor chapel area by the Cathedral, a new area with a pond, a farm, and the new druid trainer location where half of the Dwarven District used to be, a second bank in the Dwarven District, just a ton of new skins and graphical enhancements to about everything, a vastly different Stormwind castle with an impressive new entryway and statue of the King of Stormwind, a revamped battlemaster's room, a wing of the castle is totally gone, found an archaeology trainer and some portal to a place called Tol Barad...

    And this is just one pass at one city in this entire world. I am stunned at the amount of detail and attention put into the Shattering. Everything looks different. Everything. I won't see all the changes for a long long time. I've spent so many days, weeks, months being in this world and I can't believe it's just all of a sudden different. It's really hard to wrap your head around, like if the city you live in or your campus just looked drastically different one day, maybe if it was the site of some disaster or a Christmas decoration makeover. Yeah. Just wow. There are new gnome and troll starting areas that I will definitely play through with one of the new race/class combos, and then when Cataclysm actually launches I'll play through the Worgen and Goblin starting zones, and take one to 85 eventually, a hunter or warlock. Incredible.
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    [September 26, 2010 03:27:08 AM]
    The pre-Cataclysm event began a couple weeks ago and I just got around to completing the available part today. For the Alliance, you help the gnomes begin to take back Gnomeregan, which used to be their home until they irradiated it to try to repel some Trogg invaders. Irradiation only drove the good guys out, and mutated the rest, making it a hostile place indeed. So you rally a small gnome force, test out their bombers and mechano-strider weapons, and finally go with them to take strategic points outside the irradiated city. You fight your way into the entryway where the leader of Gnomeregan repeats history, this time with sinister intent, by detonating another radiation bomb. Your gnome force teleports back out to regroup, ending part 1 of the struggle.

    I can't say too much about what I wanted to see because it's not over yet. I fully expect to be able to fly planes and ride in tanks or other mechanical weaponry. Today, I was only allowed to fight on foot, though everyone is given an item that turns them into a gnome for half an hour, which will be fun to have.

    All this reminds me of the pre-Lich King event, which is one of the best times in gaming I've ever had. Ever. Here's the WoWWiki for links' sake The zombie infestation was, in my opinion, pure genius. It was incredibly fun to play with. Imagine a zombie disease outbreak that gets progressively worse, harder to contain, over a week. There were various ways to get yourself turned into a zombie if you wanted to be and various ways other people could turn you into a zombie or kill you even if you weren't trying to participate. I spent the end of that week attempting to take over smaller towns, Booty Bay in particular, with a horde of zombies.

    Since Booty Bay NPCs were killable by level 70 characters, I would go turn myself into a zombie in a remote part of the city and lure some guards, who I would turn into zombies. With my small force, we'd slowly creep around the backside of the town infecting NPCs and any unfortunate players. Once I thought that my force had become a small army, I'd move into the more central part of town and begin going after players. This was by myself. Other times, I would attempt to fill a raid of players to all go take over a town together. 20 or 30 or 40 players would descend on wherever (Thunder Bluff was a good one for its layout) and systematically infect NPCs and attack players.

    The goal for me was always to have an army of zombies dominating the city to obstruct normal activity. We coordinated as a team on Vent several times, and these were the most successful in Thunder Bluff, though guards there were more vicious than smaller towns. The best effort was in Booty Bay one time when we held the town for about half an hour. No one could come in and not become undead. This is something you can't ever do in WoW, but for just a week or so, it was possible to play the game in a very different way with player-created objectives, and no one really knew what would happen. I and several people I kept zombie-ing with had a blast. Other people hated the event because of players like myself presumably ruining the experience of the game for them. To me, it wasn't ruining anyone's experience, but becoming a zombie, or taking on the mindset of a zombie horde. I wasn't trying to grief anyone, just playing a role that WoW temporarily made possible, seeing what I could do with the zombie system, what was possible with it.

    If the zombie thing had gone on and on, I would have quit spending all my time in-game being a zombie because it wouldn't have been novel anymore. That's the allure of in-game events. They're temporary and for one brief minute in your WoW-life, you get to take part in something out-of-the-ordinary. It was the same thing with the opening of the Dark Portal for Burning Crusade, the Olympics stuff coinciding with Beijing 2008, and to a lesser extent, the recurring seasonal events like Brewfest and our normal holiday equivalents. I was explaining this to a new player today. I kept suggesting he go check out Brewfest, as I would say, "for a change." He replied that he likes just killing monsters and doesn't like the quirky types of quests for seasonal events like learning how to ride Brewfest rams or chugging beer and tossing tankards at a dummy. Makes sense since he's only been killing things for 20 levels. These things become a great break after you've been killing things for -- how many levels cumulatively have I got?! -- a long, long, long, long time. In fact, I quit even doing quests altogether probably a year ago, besides leveling one more from 70-80, the and these seasonal events like Brewfest that I've done before fall under the category of 'just more quests.' So I ignore them, but I do enjoy the spirit of players enjoying the events.

    It's in the one-time, can't-ever-do-it-after-this, extra-special events that I find the most enjoyment.
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    [September 4, 2010 07:54:47 PM]
    Sindragosa Down + Being Social!

    If you asked me about the social aspect of WoW a year ago, I would have said, "Meh, I don't really care." Until WotLK, I generally played alone, leveled characters, PvPed, and ran 5-person dungeons, and certainly didn't have any friends in-game. With WotLK, I started raiding, which, to progress, necessitates joining guilds and forming relationships with other players. I've been in a handful of raiding guilds this expansion and can say I have friends on WoW. When you play together with the same people every week, it's hanging out. Hang out with people long enough, I like them more and more. Achieve things in-game together through hard work, get to know each other over time, and experience the ups and downs of life on and off the game, all this ties people together, I believe. So it's been over the last almost two years that I've slowly realized I play WoW now because I can play with other people.

    That brings me to raiding, which like I said, requires other people, and preferably other people you know and like. My goal for this expansion pack is to kill the Lich King. There are 12 bosses in ICC, LK being #12. In the last 2 months, a handful of guildies and I have put together some very successful 10 ICC runs. We continually get to 9/12 or 10/12 before people leave. Being fairly casual raiders, we never pick up and continue, just start over next week. Yesterday, I logged on to see if the guild was doing anything, which it wasn't. So, I began scanning trade chat for ICC 10 groups. Someone was spamming for 2 healers for Sindragosa and Lich King (11&12). I immediately got an invite. It was a guild run, and this is the farthest they'd ever been, same as me. I got on their Vent, and by the end of the night, almost as important as what we accomplished, I felt like I'd met another handful of cool people.

    Some guilds are more closely knit than others, and this one was one of those familial feeling ones. They were all very nice, had obviously been playing together a long time, were mostly good players, but were real enough and down to earth enough to make them very likable to me. There were two women, one the 'guild mom,' a very upbeat and encouraging guild leader, another person who consistently had trouble with the fight because he couldn't zoom out because he doesn't play with a mouse (!), another person who, during the fight, kept running to the wrong side of Sindragosa because her computer couldn't handle the graphics of 10 players animating in the same spot (I constantly had to run in range of her to keep her alive). After the raid, I chatted with them in Vent a while, found out they run a cross-game guild, with channels for SC2 and other MMOs, and that they'd been around a long, long time, through the birth and decline of other MMOs in the past. They invited me to come around more often and play with them in the future. They liked me, and I impressed them with my playing, so I got an invite back. Being social, being friendly, and being skilled at whatever it is you do, gets you places. I'm not leaving my normal guild, but I'll maintain ties with these people, maybe play some other games with them in the future, and definitely, hopefully, kill the Lich King with them!

    And about the actual Sindragosa fight, we learned it beginning to end, over the course of about 3 hours together. When she finally died, on our stated last attempt no less, we all yelled in Vent and of course there was a lot of excitement going around. That moment right there, killing a difficult boss with a bunch of other people for the first time, is the pinnacle of this game for me. And another plus is I've gained knowledge and experience in the fight, and I can teach it to other people I know. One fight left to learn in the game and then I'll be able to say I've vanquished the expansion's namesake.
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    [July 26, 2010 08:25:40 AM]
    Completed The Sacred and The Corrupt quest and am one step closer to Shadow's Edge. Just need to get to Sindragosa and forge the thing next time I'm there. It's too bad I've made the top 10 raid spots in this Kingslayer guild since its wasted because I'm out of town for a month. Hopefully I'll still be able to regain a decent spot when I get back. Blizzard finally fixed my parental controls so I can get a weekly play time report emailed to me. I wish I'd had it since I first tried to sign up a few weeks ago. But it's finally working, and this week was 23 hours. I'm happy with that. I actually did a ton of raiding too to finish up gathering 25 primordial saronites, so 23 seems rather low in fact. And the authenticator is pretty cool. I feel all safe and secure in the midst of all these account hacks. Erin's deactivated account was hacked. A guildie was hacked last week. So lame. There's a definite increase of gold spamming, especially on BF, in the last month or two. It's ridiculous the amount of spam and hack stories going on now. Farewell WoW account. I'll see you in a month.
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    [July 11, 2010 10:06:39 PM]
    Yes, the gear obtained from a weekend of nonstop playing, say 30 hours or so, is sufficient to get an 80 raid ready. I've logged about that much time on Cass in the last month and a half and got myself accidentally into an ICC 25 and ICC 10 this weekend. The ICC 25 I was a replacement range DPS PuG and pulled 5-6k on bosses, and won some bracers. The ICC 10 was a guild run I got asked to help heal, again as a replacement after Marrowgar, because I was up sick in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep. I won some pants, replacing my T9.5s that I bought the day before for damn 75 triumph emblems, a huge waste of emblems that in retrospect I should have spent on epic gems. My GS is now just under 5000, which I find is actually plenty sufficient given the 25% buff to damage, healing and health currently in ICC. I raid healed all the way to Putricide, whom I haven't seen in like 3 months, and after wiping a few times, I left so someone more useful could come in and help the guild finish their night.

    Raid healing with a holy priest is very different from tank healing with a paladin. Paladin heals involve: 1) beacon MT 2) spam flash of light on raid members and holy light when someone needs more 3) holy shock for a quick instant. Raid heals involve a LOT more paying attention. I have more spells and more people to watch out for. I always took it for granted that I only had to focus on tanks as a paladin because as a raid healer, I have to watch literally everyone, especially if the other healer is focusing tanks like I usually do. I found it really fun and enjoyed making use of all my AoE heals. One instance where a raid healer shines is on Stinky and Precious's Decimates when everyone's HP gets dropped to 10% and they continue taking damage. Timing a Prayer of Healing and watching your party's health jump up after decimate is a good feeling. That's what I think about raid healing, and maybe I can get in on a 10 ICC with the guild once a week for some fun.
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    [July 4, 2010 08:43:42 AM]
    Since leveling Cass up to 80, I've been very casually gearing her up. I haven't had a new 80 to play with in over a year, besides the one with Allison, and I've been especially curious as to how Blizzard has made the gearing up process friendlier. I can hear about people grinding heroics and being raid-ready in a week, but I didn't want to grind heroics. How long would it take a casual player to gear for raids? I hit 80 a month ago and my gearscore for shadow and holy was like 4300-4400 Saturday. I can say that for the casual player, gearing for raids is going to take a long time (defined I guess as more than a couple months, 'casual' as no more than a heroic daily per day or so, and 'geared for raids' as closer to 5000gs). After a month of just doing the daily heroic and VoAs the last couple weeks, I hit a major plateau in what I could buy with emblems and how quickly those emblems were coming to me.

    This weekend then I decided to see how long it would take someone to gear up 'hardcore,' playing for most of a weekend. I probably logged 15-20 hours on Cass Saturday and Sunday together. I made sure to run the ICC heroics both days, daily heroic, Ahune, and just chained ICC regulars and ToC until I got some stuff. It all felt really pointless grinding these things again, but I had a point to prove. I expect a devoted player can gear a brand new 80 from crap to ICC-ready in one weekend. I brought my gearscore up to 4800+, like 500 points, in just 2 days. Now, when I'd just hit 80, I could have done every heroic available every day for a few days. This would accomplish the same thing. Here's my timetable. Weekend = 2.5 days, Friday evening through Sunday night. Friday evening, ding 80, chain heroics, do any raids you can sneak into (unlikely). Saturday morning, get up and grind heroics. Get in any raids you can get in. By Saturday night, chances are you can get yourself up to Ony or ToC. Keep buying gear with triumph emblems and do your best to win stuff out of raids and heroics. Maybe get lucky in Vault. Sunday, grind heroics, and by Sunday night, I bet damn well you could have a GS up around 5000.

    The only reason I'm on Cass is to see how gearing up is after Blizzard implemented all these rewards for heroics and made it much easier for players to get into raiding. So today I wound up in a 25 ToC, won a 245 chest, won a trophy. I got gloves from H HoR, got lucky with a Battered Hilt drop. It's interesting. I could get up tomorrow and get in an ICC probably, maybe win some things from there, and have gone from new 80 to 'geared' in a few days. If you think about it, someone who hit endgame right after WotLK came out, they've been raiding for a year and a half to get the gear they have. Now someone (or their alts) can come along and have equivalent gear in a weekend. This pisses off players who raid almost exclusively for gear. Players who raid for socializing or achievement, and who don't mind as much about winning loot, don't mind this situation as much. But as far as design goes, this choice makes gearing up easy, makes results quick and noticeable, and lets players experience raiding or endgame who might otherwise not. Drawbacks I see are that it's seen as unfair and a welfare system.

    It's also interesting how much I learned about playing a priest this weekend. I feel like last week I was a priest noob compared to now, even though I've been playing her for a couple years. I'm a better healer and DPS, not just because of gear, but from practicing, knowing when to cast what, cast rotations, how to perform my role in accordance with others', etc. And it's been neat to compare priest healing to paladin healing. Priest flash of light is actually stronger than paladin flash of light. And it seems priest greater heal is less strong, but priests have SO many more heals. Paladins have 3. Priests, I regularly use like 7. And as far as DPS differences range vs. melee, I was thinking I would feel more of a difference during raids. I did ToC and have done some VoAs, and range DPS is still DPS. It's still DPS and it's still range (heals). So I basically move like a healer and DPS like, well, a DPS, maybe different targets here and there, but really the same thing. If I didn't already understand all classes and roles, this would probably be more shocking to do things differently, but I've thought about the range perspective or watched Patrick play enough that I could imagine doing it already. This all makes me wonder what the point of multiple characters is. Once I know how they all work, is there a point to actually playing more than 1? Is it more fun? Maybe it's more work. Professions are handy, but the more you have the more you have to keep up. WoW gets to feel like a vicious cycle sometimes. I want to raid on Cass now, but I've already done it a lot on Nacht and Neph. What's the point? It is fun to gear up, to go on raids, to down bosses, to win loot, but I've done it all before. Ruby Sanctum just came out this week, but I haven't found or put together a group for it, and the guild is mostly nonexistent these days. I would like to check it out, but probably just next week.

    I really don't want to feel compelled to gear up and raid with Cass. I know it's all fun, but there are other things I could be doing. I should call her an experiment completed and go back to Nacht and be a one character kind of guy. There's no need for more. It took me a long time to figure this out, but really, more characters is time I could spend experiencing other games, or reading, or whatever it is. I've been fluctuating thinking about just sticking with Nacht versus juggling 2 or 3, but no more juggling. I'm a poor juggler.

    So this week, hopefully I can get an RS, check that out, do guild GDKP, and win something from VoA.
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    [July 2, 2010 06:04:13 AM]
    Today is the actual first entry of this thing, long overdue to be keeping up with WoW playing in written form. I've been out of the game a couple months. Back in May, I went home for a couple weeks, then when I came back, I was really busy with work and started going through my old library of unplayed games to take a break from WoW raiding, then my account got hacked and I couldn't play for 2 weeks, then Ventrilo quit working on campus...So yeah, today is the first time I've raided with GW since the end of April. It felt good to raid after so long not doing it, especially since I was raiding ICC religiously a few times a week and stopped so abruptly.

    Psykh has been organizing GDKP runs, which are Gold Dragon Kill Point runs. Instead of the regular DKP system for loot, each item is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The high bids go into a pool and at the end of the raid, the pool is split evenly among everyone. In theory, people can bid on items they want, everyone gets a chance according to how much money they have/are willing to spend, and everyone gets money back at the end. It sounds nice. Well, my first experience doing this was amazing, so much fun. Bidding adds another level of interactivity. No more boring rolls and sweating that late roller outrolling your 99 with his perfect 100. Now I have the power to bid, just like eBay, which I am quite good at.

    I came away with a 264 dps ring, upgraded from 245. I paid 4800 gold, which I would never have done outside this system. I never spend WoW gold, ever. It just sits. Knowing I was guaranteed to get the item if I paid for it and knowing I'd be partially reimbursed at the end of the raid, I was like 'what the hell' and kept bidding. I bid up another guy on a 264 dps necklace to about 4000 and stopped and let him have it, then another healing necklace to like 3200 I think. I came in the raid with about 14,000 gold, so I could have won all three, and in retrospect, I should have. But after I won that first one, I figured I'd hold out, not overbid, save my money for some rarer stuff later. Oh well! I could have afforded all three! The healing necklace I should have taken (technically I won it because the shaman bidding against me bid last after it was closed, but Helgy reopened it) because it was a huge upgrade, 232 to 264, but it did have MP5 that I don't like. The dps necklace was also a huge upgrade. I have a 251 agility piece, and this was 264 strength. The DK bidding against me supposedly had 120,000 gold. Overkill?

    Since the higher the bids, the more gold we make in the end, people were understandably excited to see others bidding high. Word was also out in guild and whispers of this 120,000 gold DK. Rumor was out, I should say. GDKP is lame in that people screw one another, mages bidding on plate, druids on mail, etc. just to raise the price and force others to bid higher. That was stupid. One time a mage bid on druid stuff and the druid didn't raise him, so the mage had to pay 800g for some leather. I wished it was like 5000g. Still, I think the mage apologized or something, I wasn't in Vent so I don't know, because the druid received the item. I would have bid on a few more things, but the first bid sometimes was crazy high, 5000g and such to start. The highest bid of the day was 10k for a wand, and there were I think two 8k bids for set pieces. We got lucky with like 5 or 6 BoEs.

    The grand total was over 75000g, which means everyone got over 3k gold a piece. My 4800g boots ended up costing 1500 or so! Not bad! Patrick was sitting next to me watching and couldn't believe we made so much. His GDKP run he went on he said made a little over 1k a person. Plus we downed through Valithria so I made out pretty good on Frosts. Both pieces for that orange weapon dropped of Festergut and Rotface, but they went to two separate people.

    Another thing that sucks about GDKP runs, and that they are designed to prevent if you run them right, is that people can come leech without intent to bid, and just come away a few thousand gold richer for little contribution. We had a rogue with almost 5k gearscore who pulled about 2k dps the whole time. It was sad. S/he never spoke a word (in chat at least) and didn't bid a copper. The counter-example to that was a warrior with like 4200 GS who bid all over the place. I remember he won one of the orange weapon quest items, a BoE tank gun, and I think one other piece. By the end, his GS was 4500 and he'd pulled his DPS up about 1000 points. THAT was cool to see him doing GDKP right! I feel good too because I made a healthy contribution in gold and manpower.

    Oh, and we did Gunship on heroic, which was badass. Seeing 277 items drop was unbelievable.

    The last time I'd been raiding, I remember being top 3 dps all the time. While I've been inactive for a few months, others have caught up! I was hanging around 7-9 today, still higher numbers than my last efforts though due to the ICC buff standing at 25% now. I think it was 15% last time I played.

    So that's GDKP, very interesting. I will hopefully get in on another one next week!

    Tomorrow Helgy's running a 10 Ruby Sanctum, which I watched Patrick do Wednesday. It seems easy enough. I'm coming in in the morning to try and get in, although my Vent isn't working so I kind of doubt I'll make the cut. I suppose my next entry will be something about RS, or playing my priest, or Overlord, tonight or tomorrow.
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    [July 2, 2010 05:29:29 AM]
    I found this site from browsing the GT website for projects, faculty, labs, whatever is involved in gaming, especially social aspects. I'm a Ph.D student in Sociology at NTU in Singapore, but came over here from...Georgia. I study social psychology, symbolic interaction, games and new media. The rationales for this site are fantastic. Reflexivity is a skill and writing about our experiences certainly helps it develop. As gaming becomes more pervasive in our daily lives, this reflexivity about games, a medium which is traditionally thought of as one through which we escape from everything we normally reflect upon, will become more important. I've toyed with the idea of creating a gaming blog to chronicle my history and experiences, but I always wind up unmotivated. This, though, this is different. I can read others' experiences with games and they can read mine, making it a community of sorts. The social aspect of games is hugely important, so it follows that writing about games in a social environment may be more motivating than keeping an isolated blog which doesn't do anything for anyone.

    I'm a long-time gamer since the days of Atari, though I wouldn't classify myself a gamer until college, and then in retrospect, I probably was one and would have agreed with my future self that I was one by the time I was about 16, coming home from school and playing Starcraft and Diablo 2. This GameLog is all about World of Warcraft, which I've been playing the better part of 4 years. I played a month of Everquest and about the same of Guild Wars before WoW, so WoW is my first and only long-lasting MMO. Over time, I've played for various reasons and the game has held various meanings for me. I hope this GameLog, and all the others I'll write, will help me figure out what games mean to me. Incidentally, I do research on WoW and player experiences, so my reflections are somewhat autobiographical in nature, like those I discuss with other players. Anyway, no more background. Onto the gaming.

    This first entry is excerpts from an MS Word WoW journal I kept sporadically over the last 5 months. I plan on keeping this up as a positive exercise.

    11-02-10 Ė 25 ICC. I went into the office to play. Patrick and I got in 25 ICC. It went really smooth. I was ret. Unfortunately Iím writing this a day and a half later, so have forgotten what exactly I was thinking. We had breezed through to the second wing the previous day. We spent 3 hours or so wiping on Rotface. I enjoy the progression fights. We were consistently getting him down around 50-60%, which is way better than the first bunch of times where heíd almost instantly wipe us.

    There are a couple mechanics to the fight.

    1) He turns toward a random raid member and sprays slime in a cone. We avoid this by everyone standing on either side of him at his feet and the tanks in front. So when he turns toward one side, everyone on that side runs under his feet to the other side and avoids damage. The first bunch of attempts, people werenít moving fast enough and were being sprayed. Itís so easy to avoid. When you see him turn toward you, go to his other side. Simple. I was checking to see who was being hit by looking at Recount, which shows all the damage everyone takes. Anyone not a tank who took Rotface damage was standing too long in the slime spray. It looked like healers and ranged were generally being hit more with it, healers probably because they had to finish a heal before moving or something like that. I donít think I ever got touched by it because itís so easy to avoid.

    2) When the big slime absorbs 5 little ones, it explodes. Everyone in our guild is supposed to have DBM. DBM warns you when the ooze starts to explode. This is when everyone should move a few steps from where theyíre at because oozelings will rain down where you WERE standing when it started exploding. Again, very easy to avoid, but our raid had major issues avoiding this damage. People were dropping like flies every time. This one is interesting to highlight the interplay between a mod, Vent, and a playerís mediation of the two. DBM says the same thing for everyone, but not everyone understands what it means, so some people die and others live. In Vent, we had Schiza, our ooze kiter, calling out when it was exploding, but he was calling out like when it got 5 or something and it wasnít synching with DBM. People were moving when Schiza said to move, and then stopping. So they basically moved before he cast, stopped when he started casting, and got rained on and died when he finished casting. There was a big miscommunication between what Schiza was calling out and what DBM was calling out.

    3) The third mechanic is the slimes themselves. Rotface puts a disease on a random player. The disease ticks down and when it finishes or is dispelled, that player spawns an ooze. The little ooze follows that player around until itís brought close enough to another little ooze, in which case they merge into a big ooze, or until itís brought close to a big ooze, in which case it merges with the big ooze. We had Schiza kiting the big ooze because he was a tank and could cleanse. So, when someone got the disease, they would run to Schiza and call out when they were next to him. Schiza would cleanse and the player would stick near until the ooze merged with Schizaís. This requires every player to be aware or be able to quickly be aware of where Schiza is around the room at any given time. It requires that player to know s/he has the disease, to call out to Schiza when s/he is ready to have it cleansed, and to stay with the little ooze until it merges, lest they bring the ooze back towards Rotface. Schiza has to kite, avoid being hit by the big ooze, cleanse, watch for players running to him, listen to players calling out to him, call out explosions. Complex stuff.

    We finally seemed to get most people out of the slime and were working on the slime explosion. Lots of people were also having problems getting their slime to Schizaís without dying. The healers are supposed to watch the diseased person so they donít die from ticks. One time, I got an ooze, pulled off a great merger with Schiza, but then died from lack of heals right afterward. I assume no healers were paying enough attention to me, which is a problem because you canít have everyone who gets diseased dying on you!

    10ICC Ė After we were done wiping on 25ICC, some people wanted to do 10. I signed up thinking weíd spend an hour and a half or two hours getting past Saurfang, no problem. I think we started at like 2 or so. I was playing up in HSS. We had the room reserved until around 3. I doubted anyone would book it, but I always feel nervous playing up there, like I should be working instead. I mean, Iím playing technically to record Vent and Fraps and stuff, but Iím playing too, having a general blast, while people are in offices next to me doing ďrealĒ work writing and reading. I just donít feel quite right playing video games in HSS. So it was really bad when I was still playing and I thought the room might be booked and I was going to have to bail on the group. We breezed through, one-shotted everything and 2-shotted Saurfang. I got some holy pants.

    Here comes the fun part. We then spent the next 2 hours wiping on Festergut. So let me frame: I was sitting in HSS where I donít much want to be playing games until 5:30pm wiping over and over after already wiping for hours on Rotface, Dai Rui calling and calling about eating dinner, just really really wanting to leave. Iíd been sitting there for hours in an awkward room I didnít want to be in anymore.

    12-02-10 Ė 10ICC cont. We continued our 10ICC today and didnít get any farther. We spent 3 hours wiping on Festergut again. Two people still werenít understanding the spores. Zertan was undergeared and doing low DPS. One of our tanks was undergeared and really difficult to heal. I donít mind wiping over and over because everyone gets tons of practice on the fight. Itís just really irritating when we have low DPS or people who donít raid ever and donít know fights. Zertan had low DPS and it was obvious heíd never watched a video. He also didnít know what DI was, didnít figure out that Stinky put mortal strike stacks on the tanks, didnít know we needed two tanks, etc. Like, he was clueless and after 2 raid days, like 5 hours of wiping, was still screwing up on spores. Itís really important at this level that people are somewhat familiar with fights and can learn them! If not, you screw the whole raid and we spend hours wiping.

    15-02-10 Ė So itís obvious I havenít been writing in here every day I play, but I figure I play enough so that occasional writing is fine, ha. Yesterday I stepped foot in my first ToGC10. Someone whispered me to DPS, I made my reservations clear about never having stepped inside, and they said it was easy, so I signed up. We go in and wipe about 6 times before Helgy gets frustrated that ďpeople arenít paying attentionĒ and calls the raid. We never even got past the first guy of the Beasts. Hereís another example showing that people have to know what theyíre doing to succeed, especially in this heroic raid. This minotaur calls out snobolds that jump on peopleís heads and interrupt spellcasting, which is brutal if healers get it. Whoever has a snobold runs to the melee and we kill it. The snobolds were dying very slowly. Why? Because at most, 3/5 of the dps were attacking them. Helgy was getting really irritated and calling out mine and other melee dpsís names in Vent to kill the snobolds. I was on it. I looked at Recount to see what percentage of damage each dps was doing. Me, Elesh, and whatever shaman had like 55/45 or 60/40 boss/snobolds. This Zertan guy who had been screwing up all week on Festergut had like 85/15, and some rogue had, I remember specifically, 93/7. Well thereís your answer for failure right there. ToC has been out since last August, 6 months. People really should know by now to dps the snobolds. If you are in ToGC, you really should have done ToC and should know whatís going on before attempting ToGC. It really irritates me when people have absolutely no clue whatís going on.

    This problem seems to be exacerbated by the fact that you can ding 80 and be raiding ToGC a week or two later. You can be playing this game for like a month and be in end-game raid situations. I played for years before I was in an end-game raid. Years is a long time, but a month is way too short to be able to acquire all the knowledge of how things work to really contribute. This Zertan guy didnít know what DI was, for instance. If you donít know what major abilities of another class are, you havenít learned enough.

    I also felt compelled to play all afternoon yesterday with Allison. We went from 77 to almost 79! Iím so excited to have a fresh 80, and especially with her, because I think weíre going to have a lot of fun together playing around at 80. Iím very interested to see just how easy it is to go from a fresh 80 in greens and blues to being like T9 geared, which you can buy in Dalaran and can get from ICC heroics very easily. I mean, you can farm heroics and have full T9 in a day, and then get minor pieces from ICC heroics and be 232 item level geared seriously mostly in a day. Crazy. So, Iím logging on Neph now to try and get a VoA 25.

    Heals lf flame leviathan Ė I take this as evidence of people not knowing the fight. When people are pugging, the leader usually invites on the basis that the people know the fights. Spamming your class role when looking for a FL group is hilarious because everyone is in tanks and there are no class roles! So if you spam your class role like you normally do, itís obvious you donít know the fight.

    Low dps in raids and booting/not booting

    Thrill of hitting 80

    Role of fantasy in like valrithia and just seeing big heals

    25-02-10 Ė All loot decisions cause drama? We usually loot council our raids. Weíre doing 2 10s today and one group doesnít have an officer. They decided they want to just /roll or figure it out, not loot council. Helgy says that this will cause drama down the line. I said if they all agree to roll then itís what they want and itís alright for their 10. I think all loot decisions cause drama. Loot council certainly does. People complain about the authority that decides whether or not they get loot.

    27-02-10 Ė 24-manning voa instead of keeping a 25th member with low dps. Why? Ďhe needs to learn sometimeí, he sucked, gear sucked, he pulled, didnít know where the instance was, etc.

    20/21-03-10 Ė really want to try icc10 on neph since I got a 4-piece bonus of t-10. I got in one yesterday that looked to be a really nice group, some people from Vintage, Nellu from GW. They were inviting people who had been to Sindragosa and knew fights to there, so I whispered and said that Iíd cleared through Valithria on a main, and they invited probably because they needed a rogue. So that would have been my ticket to downing some new bosses maybe or seeing some new bosses. We took at least an hour to fill the group because there were like 5 pugs forming at once. When we finally pugged it, we all got to ICC, and the raid leader says, ďwell shit. I have to go. My gfís coming over.Ē He offers to find a replacement and while heís doing that, 1 dps leaves. Then he tells us the replacement and leaves. So we have a full group minus 2 dps, and then people start leaving! Iím like wait! Itís just a couple DPS, weíve been waiting for an hour! Letís go find 2 more, itíll take 5 minutes! But alas, it wasnít meant to be. Itís really irritating when people wait and wait and wait, and then instead of doing just a little more work to get things moving, they bail. Itís like okay, youíve waited an hour for nothing. Or, you could wait an extra 5 minutes and get icc10. Youíve already wasted an hour sitting there, so whatís a couple more minutes? If you leave then it really is a waste of time. If you stay, Itís partially salvaged.

    Anyway, so while I was waiting around, I read some for class and I went back and watched videos and read strats for Valithria (from dps perspective), blood council, and putricide. The cool thing about that is today I logged on and immediately got in a similarly good (maybe better) icc group! Weíre trying to get 2 tanks and 1 more healer at the moment, but hopefully it wonít take an hour and hopefully people wonít start bailing.

    I really like icc 10 groups because theyíre faster and I feel like I have a better chance to see new content. One reason I raid is the thrill of killing a boss and seeing new content. Itís exciting to run up to a new boss, to wipe over and over on it, to learn it, and to finally have everything come together to kill it.

    Today we did a 25 ICC and just had to pug 2. Yesterday we did 2 10s because we would have had to pug like 5 or 6. We stomped Marrowgar, wiped once on Deathwhisper because people werenít focusing or something. I died because Iíd been hit by frostbolts and something else and then got a DnD cast right on me and I couldnít get out in time. Anyway, killed Gunship and killed Saurfang beautifully. We went to Festergut and had two nice attempts.

    What this entry is about then is healing assignments. Festergut does massive raid damage that turns into massive tank damage as the fight goes on, and it cycles like this, raid, tank, raid, tank, until heís dead. We usually have healing assignments on most bosses to ensure tanks and raid members are getting enough heals on them. People are supposed to stick to their assignments, focus on keeping those people or that person up, and if they are able, help out in other areas. So, if Iím assigned to heal a tank, I make sure that tank is topped off all the time. As a paladin, I can beacon the tank and heal other people, which will beacon heal the tank, so I can help out with other heals easily and not lose focus on my assignment. However, if itís a heavy tank damage fight like Festergut, Iíll end up focusing only on the tank since thereís basically a global cooldown stop between the heal and the beacon heal, which can be deadly.

    In this fight, Ceezy was supposed to make sure the ranged groups were getting heals. Festergut is a dps race, so the dps need not to die. Range especially need to not die since we have to have a certain number of them alive and ranged so that Festergut doesnít cast vomit on the melee and heals. So anyway, we lost like 4 ranged and he eventually enraged and killed us. When we were coming back, Psykh goes through healing assignments again, and after heíd gone through them, asks Ceezy which group heís healing. Ceezy has a tendency to have an attitude especially if he feels heís accused of something. So Ceezy didnít answer Psykh, which for Psykh confirms that Ceezy wasnít paying attention. Ceezy got all defensive, like Shut the fuck up, donít tell me what to do, I know who Iím healing. Why do you always have to call me out, why donít you ever call out anyone else, always Ceezy. Psykh brought up that half of Ceezyís charges had died so he in fact didnít know who to heal. Ceezy responded by saying he was highest on the healing meters and so he knows what heís doing. It was a huge scene in Vent.

    Healing assignments are to organize heals so that people stay alive. If healers donít follow their assignment, others have to pick up slack, which strains their own healing assignments, and so on. Ceezyís claim that he knew what he was doing based on the meters showing he healed the most show that in Ceezyís mind, healing output was more descriptive of a good job than who exactly was healed. For a holy paladin, thatís like saying when my tank dies, ďwell I healed the most, itís not my fault.Ē Iím still responsible for my tank. Healers are responsible for the most part for their assignments. If someone in Ceezyís group dies, itís not because I didnít heal that person because I was presumably focused on my tank or someone else. Your healing assignments are your priority, and for the group to succeed, everyone has to deal with their priorities.

    Mana pool is a symbol of how geared/good a healer you are. If I glance at a character, I note mana pool, and if they have a ton, Iím impressed on first sight, like wow, theyíre geared, theyíre probably good. Players often stack stats for utility, like a warrior stacking armor pen or a paladin stacking strength. These attributes though are invisible unless youíre looking at meters. You canít see armor pen when you look at a character. What you can see are HP and mana. Mana is certainly important for healers, and intelligence is the most important stat for holy paladins. Still, it bothers me when holy paladins stack intelligence gems at the expense of everything else. We had a holy paladin pug in our group today with over 40k mana. I top off at like 36.5k. I was like damn, 40k! Then I looked at his gear and it was pretty good, but like 5500 or so gearscore, compared to my 5900. What happens is these people stack one thing, donít take any socket bonuses, so that on first glance, the giant mana pools make people gawk. Then you inspect them and find theyíve sacrificed spell power, mp5, haste, crit and stam for pure intellect. 40k is overkill, for real. He might have 3k more mana than me, but I heal faster, harder, crit way more, regen more mana, and have more stamina. And holy paladins never go out of mana anyway, especially by the time youíre at like 35k. It just seems to me pointless to stack it so much to get an obscene amount, and it feels to me conspicuous showing off how much mana you can stack.
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    dkirschner's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 2 July, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 12 December, 2010

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Incredibly well-done, simultaneously innovative and showing age. Been playing for 4 years off and on (mostly on). Have to close this and open the next expansion log. Yay.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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